I Choose NOT to be Offended
Wendy Blight

"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)

What did she mean by that?

Why does she always hurt my feelings?

Why does she treat me that way?

Do any of these phrases sound familiar to you? It took my 15-year old daughter to show me that these words played through my head on a continual basis. She ended many of our conversations over the last few years with, "Why do you get your feelings hurt so easily?" or "Gosh, Mom, we are always hurting your feelings." Or, "Mom, you're so sensitive." At first, her words angered me.

Over time, I finally began to hear what she was saying. God used my daughter to teach a powerful truth to me. For years, I allowed people's words to hurt my feelings. In turn, I harbored anger for those words. The anger took root. Satan fed the words to me over and over again. I replayed them in my mind. Each time I replayed them, the anger grew deeper roots.

I would find myself sitting in church listening to a sermon and saying, "I wish ______ was here. They really need to hear this sermon." I never heard the sermons for myself because the words of others consumed by thoughts and stole my time.

About this time, God called me to teach a Bible study on the book of Proverbs. I spent days and weeks absorbed in this amazing book of Wisdom. One afternoon, God brought this verse across my path, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 18:11). Wow! It leapt off the page and into my heart.

I had a choice here. Up until now, I received people's words, jumped to a conclusion, and chose to be offended. God's Word spoke and said, "Wendy, you have another choice...choose to look past their words and not receive them with an offended heart." I discovered that I needed to LISTEN objectively and ask: What is driving their words? Do they have a valid point? Do they have a deep hurt? Do they need something I am not giving? Are they someone who is just plain mean and negative?

The responsibility was on me to stop the words from entering my heart and taking root. I discovered in this process that I NEEDED the approval of others. Yet, God's Word clearly says that He is the only One whose approval I need. When I accepted this, my heart changed.

Yes, it took time, and I am a work in progress. But, now when someone speaks a hurtful word, I check it at the door of my heart. I hear the words, I recognize my issue, and I speak Truth over my heart. I literally say, "It is to my glory to not receive this as an offense." God is pleased because I honor Him with this choice. It is a win-win for everyone because I do not ruin the rest of the day by pouting and making it all about me. I do not soak in self-pity. I let the words go.

Heavenly Father, thank You that I am created in Your image. Thank You that in You I find my identity. Thank You that it is only Your Words and Your opinion that matters. Lord, give me Your ears to hear. Help me not to be easily offended and easily angered. Help me lay down any offenses to which I am currently holding. Let me live in the freedom of Your love and forgiveness. Help me live not in my flesh, but supernaturally in the fullness and freshness of Your Spirit. I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, My Lord, Amen.

Related Resources:
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story by Wendy Blight

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue plus workbook by Deborah Smith Pegues

Visit Wendy’s blog Living Truth

Application Steps:
Over the next week, listen to your conversations. I encourage you to journal what you hear and what you learn.

After a week, ask yourself if God has God placed people in your life as He did in mine to point out a spiritual Truth. With a humble and contrite heart, invite God to help you be free from being easily offended and angered by the words of others.

Read 1 John 1:8-10 and meditate and reflect on its meaning in relation to what you have learned through this devotion.

Power Verses:
Ephesians 4: 26-27, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (NIV)

Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (NIV)

© 2009 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Debby said...

Wow- great devotion. I have been a "people pleaser" all my life and am trying to change that so that I am a God-pleaser only! Thank you for the devotion.

Blogger Karen said...

Thank you so much for your honesty! This was just what I needed, this morning!

I have wrestled with a friends comments and cried out to the Father. Not wanting to sin, it confused me that it affected me.

Thank you for being part of the solution! What an incredible verse,

Blogger Brandi Dabbs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Brandi Dabbs said...

I am so thankful for this devotion... I have always been told "you're too sensitive" just as your daughter told you. I justified myself by saying that's how God made me. The Lord did want me to be sensitive, but according to this verse in Proverbs (which I re-wrote and taped to the corner of my computer screen!) I am sinning when I let my hurt feelings overtake me. I think this short, lovely devotional just may be life-changing for me. Thank you so much!

Anonymous Kim said...

I think a pie just hit me in the face. Good thing I like pie...
Thanks for sharing God's words of wisdom. I have always been labeled "too sensitive." With God's help, I can learn to discern my role in others' comments and continue to move forward. Thanks for a great devotion.

Blogger Em'ly Owens said...

God is so good. I am always amazed at the blessings he drops in our laps every day. This was something I was struggling with this morning. I am so easily offended, especially by those closest to me. God is teaching me so much about taking my thoughts captive before him. He is such a loving and loyal God. I am so thankful he calls me his child.

Blogger mommyof2 said...

The devotional "I Choose NOT to be Offended" has caused me to pray and ask for forgiveness! Thank you so much for opening my eyes through this God-inspired devotional

Blogger mommyof2 said...

The devotional "I Choose NOT to be Offended" has caused me to pray and ask for forgiveness! Thank you so much for opening my eyes through this God-inspired devotional

Blogger Connie said...

Thank you for this! It really spoke to me in an area and with an issue I am dealing with in my life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something God has revealed to me over the past year is to look at who is making the comment. Sometimes people just say things and they come out wrong. They mean to say something one way (non hurtful) and it comes out another (hurtful). So now, if someone who I know loves me (whether family, friend or church member) says something that hurts my feelings, I try to step back and think "that was hurtful, is that what they truly meant to say?" Sometimes yes, but most of the time no. I thank God for this insight. It has calmed my ruffled feathers many times.

Blogger Leticia said...

God is good. I have also struggled and battled with being to sensitive to what others say and mostly with those closest to me. God directs me to prayer each time and I have learned to be sensitive to hearing him and obeying him and all other will bounce off me. Thank you for this great devotional it opened my eyes to a new way of looking at things.

Anonymous Larae Weaver said...

I too have been easily offended my entire life. I started to not like people because of it. But through the eyes of Christ, and through the women that He choses to use, I have realized that no matter what anyone ever says, I can chose to take it right or take it wrong. My dad says things to me sometimes that I just want to scream about, but lately with the Lords help, I just take a big deep breath and realize that things are going to be said, but I dont have to take the offense to them. I love reading these devotionals every day. I also love reading the different comments that all these women leave. We gain so much strength and wisdom and encouragement from each other. I have never had a place or any one I could relate to for such a long time. Women that understand and will be honest about these issues in their lives. Thank you so much for the devotional and God bless each one of you who take the time to do this for all of us. Thank you to every woman that steps out and shares your hearts with us every day.

Blogger arabelle marie said...

Thank you for this. God definitely used you to speak to me about this. I've always been a person that plays things over and over again in my head. It also came at the perfect time.


Anonymous nikki said...

I really needed this today. Just this morning my husband said some things that really hurt my feelings. He wasn't mean or ugly with the way he said it, it's just what he said. I was hurt, angry, crying. I didn't even want to talk to him. God really spoke this morning. But what do you do if it still hurts? And what if that person meant what they said, and they don't see anything wrong with it? That's a hard pill to swallow.

Blogger Unknown said...

As always God's timing is perfect. Today I am struggling with something with my boss. Her actions and words have been hurtful and I can feel my anger brewing. She is trying to bring me down emotionally and professionally. But I know who I am in Christ and I know who I am at the workplace. Even though her words hurt, I am praying to our All Comforting Father to give me that hug and thumbs up that I am doing just fine. I am a good person, my boss just hasn't realized it yet. Thank you for allowing God to speak thru you.

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this devotion. Here I was hurt and depressed and wrestling with anger. Your devotion has opened my eyes. I have relied so much on other people's approval, when the only approval I ever needed was God. Thank you!!! To God be the glory!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

great devotion and great timing. Just what I needed to read today. I am having a hard time with a friend of mine and feeling really angry over these issues. This morning started off not so good and know that I have read this I really have a new outlook. thank you

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for an awesome devotion i need this one really bad. I hope to remember it allways........

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do truly appreciate such heartwarming words of encouragement. Too many of us allow the power of negativity to overcome us when we truly have been created by God to be the Overcomers. To live victoriously, I have found, is to give God thanks and remember that we were created in His image, having His attributes which includes power in Jesus' name. Everyday, we should remember who we are: children of the Most High. Brothers and Sisters of the King of kings. Thank you for these words of wisdom again; and may God continually bless you and your ministry :-)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! where do I start, I have been a cryer most of my adult life, even when I should have pleasure I cry. I look to others for my fullfillment, rather than looking at God during these times. I even cry when someone trys to compliment me as I now am learning I don't feel worthy of compliments. Sometimes I am just so touched that someone would actually take the time to compliment me. "me, Of all people" I hope to remember this all the rest of my life. I am hurt most by those whom I love the most and have invested my time and love to. I have been dealing with complicated grief issues since 2007 that resulted in the death of my 2 yr old neice, from my own sisters neglect. I am shamed to be her sister. Than my Mother and a very close friend died in my arms after battleing cancer now my father is dying of cancer at age 63. I have a sister that is a quadraplegic. And have lost two pets 15 yrs and 10 yrs. I carry around False Guilt that I am currently working on with my grief councelor. I am the oldest child and often the one everyone goes to when things are falling to pieces and now my Husband of 13 years has decided he no longer loves me and wants to divorce me. I am angry, I talk to God and ask him to help but having the patience is the hardest thing. My Church has been very supportive of myself and my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter. I am fortunate to have found this church and that they have embraced our family. I have made new friends at a time when I feel most alone in my life. Praise God for bringing these people into my life. They have been a spiritual blessing to me. Taming the tongue around my Husband is my biggest battle in our marriage as I spew hurtful words out and feel remorse only moments after they are said. Oh Lord Help me to be more like your image, I beg of you. Wendy

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